Guide to the Scriptures

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Smith, Joseph, Jr. 

The prophet chosen to restore the true Church of Jesus Christ to the earth. Joseph Smith was born in the state of Vermont in the United States of America and lived from 1805 to 1844.

In 1820, God the Father and Jesus Christ appeared to Joseph, and he learned that none of the churches on the earth was true (JS—H 1:1–20). He was later visited by the angel Moroni, who revealed the hiding place of gold plates that contained the record of ancient peoples on the American continent (JS—H 1:29–54).

Joseph translated the gold plates and in 1830 published them as the Book of Mormon (JS—H 1:66–67, 75). In 1829, he received priesthood authority from John the Baptist and from Peter, James, and John (D&C 13; 27:12; 128:20; JS—H 1:68–70).

As directed by God, on April 6, 1830, Joseph and several others organized the restored Church of Jesus Christ (D&C 20:1–4). Under Joseph’s leadership, the Church grew in Canada, England, and the eastern portion of the United States, especially in Ohio, Missouri, and Illinois. Serious persecution followed Joseph and the Saints wherever they settled. On June 27, 1844, Joseph and his brother Hyrum were martyred in Carthage, Illinois, in the United States of America.

Scripture brought forth by the Prophet Joseph Smith

Joseph translated portions of the gold plates that were given him by the angel Moroni, which translation was published in 1830 as the Book of Mormon. He also received many revelations from the Lord outlining the basic doctrines and organization of the Church. Many of these revelations were compiled in what is now known as the Doctrine and Covenants. He was also responsible for bringing forth the Pearl of Great Price, containing inspired translations of some of the writings of Moses, Abraham, and Matthew, excerpts from his personal history and testimony, and thirteen statements of doctrine and belief held by the Church.